The Elasmosaurus Times

Fred's Obituary

By Harrison C

Fred is Dead!


The Elasmosaurus playturus or “Cope’s Mistake” lived in the late Cretaceous period or about 65 million years ago. One of them, named Fred, has died a tragic death. He lived in what today is known as Kansas, but some of his relatives lived in Wyoming and other parts of the U.S. Fred had four flippers which he used to help him swim like a turtle, an extremely long neck, and a small head with razor sharp teeth used to trap fish.

One of his favorite things to do was to hunt for fish and other swimming animals by sneaking up on them, using his neck to hide his body. A quick swipe to the side would easily get him a meal. Fred’s most prominent feature was his long neck. With seventy-six vertebrae in his neck, he was forty-six feet in length and half of that was just his neck, which was about four times the size of a giraffe’s. A human’s neck only has seven vertebrae. Fred had an extremely long neck!
Fred reached 2.2 tons in weight. Fred’s fossil was found with stones in his stomach which may have been used to grind up his food so it would be easier to digest. His species name, Elasmosaurus platyurus, means thin plate which refers to the thin plate in his pelvis. Since he was an Elasmosaurus platyurus, Fred was a relative of the plesiosaurs. Two creatures evolved from that reptile, the Elasmosaurus platyurus and the Mosasaurus which, in contrast to the Fred was short-necked.

A scientist named Cope discovered Fred but made a huge mistake. He accidentally put the head on the wrong end and thought the neck was a tail. Can you imagine how upset Fred would be if he knew his head was put on the wrong end? Fred died during the K-T mass extinction. Fred leaves no family members behind since his whole race died in that tragic event. He will be remembered in museums across the world as a large and smart, long-necked reptile.


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